The labor department has helped employ 2,137 out-of-school youths (OSYs) and deserving students to pursue education during the first quarter of this year.

The Special Program of Employment for Students (SPES) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Davao Region has recorded the number of beneficiaries from January to March 2015.

A total of 980 beneficiaries came from Compostela Valley Province while 155 of them came from Davao City. There were 717 beneficiaries in Davao del Sur; 247 beneficiaries from Davao Oriental; and 38 beneficiaries from Davao del Norte.

“The SPES program aims to assist poor but deserving students pursue their education by encouraging employment of those in the secondary level during summer and/or Christmas vacations and of those in the tertiary, technical or vocational education levels any time of the year,” said DOLE regional director Joffrey M. Suyao.

SPES beneficiaries receive a salary not lower than the minimum wage in which 60% comes from the private companies or national or local government agencies where they worked while the remaining 40% will be given by DOLE through education vouchers.

To date, DOLE have spent P7,925,848 pesos as its 40% counterpart.

“This year we target to extend assistance a total of 6,610 beneficiaries,” Suyao said.

“We in the department strive to accommodate more students and out-of-school youths (OSYs) especially those deserving but cannot afford education. This can be manifested by reaching our number of target beneficiaries for this year,” Suyao added.

DOLE-ROXI / Sherwin B. Manual